Above: William Butler Yeats - John Singer Sargent, 1908
No Second Troy
Why should I blame her that she filled my days
With misery, or that she would of late
Have taught to ignorant men most violent ways,
Or hurled the little streets upon the great,
Had they but courage equal to desire?
What could have made her peaceful with a mind
That nobleness made simple as a fire,
With beauty like a tightened bow, a kind
That is not natural in an age like this,
Being high and solitary and most stern?
Why, what could she have done, being what she is?
Was there another Troy for her to burn?
W. B. Yeats, 1926
Chiang chen tzu
Ten years living and dead have drawn apart
I do nothing to remember
But I can not forget
Your lonely grave a thousand miles away …
Nowhere can I talk of my sorrow —
Even if we met, how would you know me
My face full of dust
My hair like snow?
In the dark of night, a dream: suddenly, I am home
You by the window
Doing your hair
I look at you and can not speak
Your face is streaked by endless tears
Year after year must they break my heart
These moonlit nights?
That low pine grave?
Artemis: Su shi’s first wife was Wang Fu. They married when she was sixteen and he was nineteen. She died after bearing their son (it’s unclear whether it was during childbirth or shortly after). Ten years after her death he wrote this poem after dreaming of her.
From wiki: “Su Shi (traditional Chinese: 蘇軾; simplified Chinese: 苏轼;pinyin: Sū Shì) (January 8, 1037 – August 24, 1101), was a writer, poet, artist, calligrapher, pharmacologist, gastronome, and statesman of the Song Dynasty, and one of the major poets of the Song era. His courtesy namewas Zizhan (子瞻) and his pseudonym was Dongpo Jushi (東坡居士), and he is often referred to as Su Dongpo (蘇東坡). Besides his renowned poetry, his other extant writings are of great value in the understanding of 11th century Chinese travel literature as well as details of the 11th century Chinese iron industry.”